Data loss on traditional volumes formatted with NetWare 5.x

(Last modified: 19May2004)

This document (10092919) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Data loss on traditional volumes formatted with NetWare 5.x


Novell NetWare 5.0

Novell NetWare 5.1

Novell NetWare 5.1 Support Pack 6

Novell NetWare 5.1 Support Pack 7

Novell NetWare 6.0

Novell NetWare 6.0 Support Pack 3

Novell NetWare 6.0 Support Pack 4

Novell NetWare 6.5

Novell NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 1


When going to Storage -> Devices in iManager, a traditional volume created with either NetWare 5.0 or NetWare 5.1 will instantly deactivate


The volume will not mount again.  Giving this warning message:  "The volume <volumename> could NOT be mounted.  Some or all volume segments could not be found.  If this is an NSS volume, the pool may need to be activated using the command  nss /poolactivate=<poolname>"


The reason of the problem is that the NetWare partition format is different between NetWare 5.x and NetWare 6.x and iManager cannot handle the NetWare 5.x partition format and will simply remove the partition. During the regular NetWare 6.x upgrade, the partitions will be converted to NetWare 6.x format. However if for some reason, the partition was not available during the upgrade process, the old NetWare 5.x partition format will remain.


This has been reported to engineering and the fix will be in the NW65 Support Pack 2 patch, which is currently scheduled to be released in late June 2004 

If you have a server with NetWare 5.x style partitions, you can avoid the issue by upgrading the partitions to NetWare 6.x format using the console command "MM UPGRADE PARTITIONS". This will unfortunately not help recovering a partition that has already been lost due to the iManager issue.


The problem is aggravated by the different default MBR (Master Boot Record) sizes between NetWare 5.x and NetWare 6.x. NetWare 5.x creates an MBR of 32 sectors by default while NetWare 6.x uses 63 sectors by default. Now if a disk contains only an old NetWare 5.x partition, and this partition is deleted by iManager in NetWare 6.5, a new MBR of 64 sectors is created thus overwriting the start of the deleted NetWare partition and making it very hard to recover the partition.

This has been seen when the traditional volume is on a separate hard drive from the SYS volume and has either been disconnected from the server before the upgrade to NW6.0 or NW6.5 and then reconnected or was left intact in the install at the point where the options are to Remove Sys or to Remove all NetWare volumes.


Document Title: Data loss on traditional volumes formatted with NetWare 5.x
Document ID: 10092919
Solution ID: NOVL96996
Creation Date: 18May2004
Modified Date: 19May2004
Novell Product Class:Netware


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